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Rebirth – a perfect match of two alumni winners

The Global Change Award has proven to be an important door opener and accelerator for innovators. The alumni program connects the winners with each other and brings much value for everyone involved. A result of this is the collaboration between Unspun and Resortecs – who have joined forces to make jeans on demand sewn with dissolvable thread.

Unspun won the Early Bird award in 2017 with their innovation of designing and making custom-made jeans based on 3D body scans. Together with Resortecs, who won in 2018 with their thread that dissolves at high temperatures, they’ve created the first custom-made denim jeans with threads that enables the garments to be easily disassembled and redesigned again.

“Our collaboration started out as a friendly joke at the Global Change Award ceremony in Stockholm.”

Walden Lam, Co-Founder of unspun

Pairing the two technologies will make it possible to reduce the CO2 emissions from the production and disposal of a pair of jeans by 27%.

“We will be able to separate the trims and reuse the pattern fabric pieces at scale by putting hundreds of the Rebirth jeans in an oven. Both the metal trims and the fabric pieces will be redesigned and reused in new products, without going through a mechanical or chemical recycling process,” says Walden.

In November 2019, the world’s first commercially available, digitally fitted jeans with dissolvable threads were presented to a group of industry leaders, and a public pop-up store opened in Hong Kong. “We are now planning for European and North American launch activities,” says Walden.

An ecosystem to be proud of

When the Global Change Award was launched in 2015, there were no real plans on an alumni program.

“We built it after the first year, since we realized that neither we nor the winners wanted to let go of each other after the Innovation Accelerator,” says Erik Bang, Innovation Lead at the H&M Foundation. “There were so much more value and synergies still to be unlocked from extending the successful Accelerator Program into an alumni network. So now we have a group of alumni winners who share ideas, experiences, and contacts with each other. It’s an ecosystem that we are really proud of,” says Erik.

“Perhaps what made this collaboration perfect was that we recognized that we were both imperfect. Mutual trust and conviction allowed us to move rather rapidly. It is clear that teams and organizations need to co-create openly to enable the paradigm shift that the future of humanity demands. Rebirth is a humble attempt by two small insignificant players to inspire that change,” says Walden.